If you follow me on any kind of social media, you’ll have noticed by outrage of excitement as I announced that I’ve booked flights to Orlando in just three weeks! My best friend has been working at Disney World for almost a year so it was about time that I unwillingly dragged myself onto a plane to go and visit her… I MEAN TRY AND STOP ME.
So whilst I roll around my flat in joy and anticipation of a week in the happiest place on Earth, I thought I’d share my favourite pictures from my last visit to the magical world of Disney.
Okay okay! My hands are up. I'm confessing. You've got me.
My name’s Eppie and I'm a Disnaholic*
*a person who is wholly obsessed by the world created by Walt Disney
I can try and explain why… I obviously grew up watching all the films, thinking I was Belle, obsessing over Ariel’s hair and hoping one day that I’d find myself a man as perfect as Eric who would want to wander around beaches with me and our sheepdog (I did btw – sheepdog pending).
Yes sunsets and safaris melt my heart but the happiness I feel in Mickey’s home town is not like much else. In fact upon reflection, almost every memory in my life that stands out as feeling overwhelmingly incredible, I’ve compared to Disney... looking down from ‘pride rock’ over a watering hole in Kenya, seeing the mountains of Banff for the first time, crying at Matilda the Musical. In each of these moments as I stood in awe, the only words I could muffle through my held back tears were… ‘Oh my god it’s like Disney magic!’
I finally got to visit Disney World when I was 11 years old. And it was the best two weeks of my young life.
I’d entered a place like no other. Everyone smiled at me. The people in the shops wanted to high five me and wished me a magical day. The air was clean, with a hint of fresh candy floss.
My most prominent memories of that holiday were screaming with joy on my first ever loop roller coaster, crying in amazement at an incredible water projection show, feeling the bugs crawl under my seat in Bugs Life 4D and being bedazzled by the fact that Mickey’s house grew mouse shaped tomatoes.
I went on to work for the main mouse during my internship which only instilled by obsession as I was surrounded by people who shared my love for Disney’s creations. I’d greet Mickey like an old friend whenever he popped his head into the office and my desk was covered in merchandise – wasn’t this normal?
It was a year like no other. My role in the charitable department meant that I personally got to bring joy to the kids who were raising money or the patients at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Their little faces when one of our characterful friends surprised them with a visit were priceless. It ignited my respect and admiration for Walt Disney, his legacy was bringing hope and joy to children who really truly needed it.
That year I also visited Disneyland Paris with my then 6 year old sister. Paris isn’t like America, the staff aren’t quite so full of cheer and the park itself might need a fresh coat of paint in some areas, but it was the perfect introduction for a little girl who shared her older sister’s adoration.
It was the first time I became introduced to the best ride in the world – the Tower of Terror. I wept as Elsie met her hero, Snow White, and jumped with glee as she jumped around with Tigger.
Two years later and I was a graduate. With a scrapbook to fill of worldwide memories like Ellie in Up, I headed on a 5 week sprint to America with my besties. Stopping off in LA for a week, we couldn’t resist an all-girls trip to Disneyland California.
Posing with the Queen of resting bitch face herself!
When I think back over those 3 days I can’t help but grin. Prancing around the park in our Disney tops, we were 10 years old again. Armed with Minnie ears and Disney dollars we spent over 15 hours a day in those parks, waking up to Disney alarms, dancing around with almost every character, watching every show at least twice and eating triple fried cheesy cake gooeyness for dinner because no one is an adult in Disney.
I cried more than Elsa when Anna gets frozen on that trip. When Main Street lit up in animations and the Castle was surrounded by fireworks, I stood there and sobbed. And then it snowed. In June. Oh Disney.
So yes I realise that I’m not 12 years old and maybe I should spend my hard earned dollars on exploring the outback of Australia. But Disney isn’t just a place I can go to and be a child eating waffles, it’s a land of a lifetime of memories and a reminder of so many moments of uninterrupted happiness. It’s the place where you can’t be disappointed, you can escape from the stressful, political world that we live in and just be surrounded by happy, fun individuals who remind you of how free you felt when you were little.
Plus twirling around with princesses is way more fun than twirling on my office chair and I mean, who doesn’t love a Mickey pretzel?
If you fancy some over the top grins and Disney magic, you can watch my mini-vlog about my time is Disneyland California below.
Now my life is filled with Disney magic. Allyn shares my adoration for talking candlesticks and singing bears, working as an animator on some of the mouse’s biggest blockbusters (which only makes that spine-tingling castle opening music that bit more special).